Telling All the Lord Had Done
Pastor Oliver reminds us that we who have received deliverance ought to tell others of all the good that God has done in our lives, and shares with us how we can do so.
We have looked at the Book of Exodus as a church for the past few months. The key theme of Exodus is that God has rescued His people out of captivity in Egypt so that they can serve and worship God. Much of the book speaks of God, His relationship with His people, and their interaction with God, who redeemed them. However, in Chapter 18, between God's deliverance of the Israelites, their worship on Mount Sinai and the making of a covenant, lies Moses' interaction with his father-in-law Jethro, who was a pagan priest. We see God's concern for others who are outside of the nation of Israel. Moses describes what happened in Exodus 18:7-12:
Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other for their welfare and went into the tent. Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. Jethro said, "Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people." And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.
Moses met with his father-in-law, and amid the interaction and conversations as a family, he told Jethro all that the Lord has done—how God acted to deliver His people out of captivity in Egypt. After simply hearing about what the Lord had done on Israel's behalf, Jethro trusted the Lord God and became a God-fearer. Jethro's words and actions represented a response of faith. When he said, "Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods" (v11), he echoed the purpose that the Lord said the plagues were to have for both Israel (Ex 6:7) and Egypt (Ex 7:5, 17). God's mighty acts were a testimony to the Israelites, Egyptians, and nations that the Lord is alone is God.
In Luke 9:31, in the transfiguration account, Moses and Elijah described what Jesus accomplished at Jerusalem as His departure. The Greek word for "departure" can also mean exodus—predominantly used to describe the Israelites' departure from Egypt. In the New Testament, Jesus' crucifixion, death on the cross, and resurrection is the new Exodus. Jesus Christ, by His death on the cross for our sins and resurrection for our life, liberates those of us who trust in Him from our captivity to sin to a new life in Him. Jesus' work on the cross lets the nations know that Lord, He alone, is God who saves. Having received redemption means that we who trust in Christ and have received deliverance and the promise of resurrection life are responsible for telling others all that the Lord has done. When we gather as a church, we tell other believers in words and songs to strengthen and encourage each other. We also ought to tell non-Christians all that the Lord has done so they might hear the gospel's good news.
Who do we tell?
We can speak to our non-Christian family, relatives and colleagues—our family and friends whom God has placed in our lives. In the ordinariness of life, we can share our testimony of all that the Lord has done for us, redeeming us from sin to life. A testimony, in summary, is God's story of all that the Lord has done to rescue you through the gospel. Our testimony tells of what we were like before we trusted in Christ, how we came to trust in Christ (and communicate the gospel clearly in our sharing), and finally, what we are now that we trusted in Jesus. Perhaps in telling the gospel amid the story of God's work in our lives, God's Spirit may bring our hearers to trust that "the Lord is greater than all gods".
How can we do so?
This telling of all that the Lord has done is what we hope to accomplish in our outreach ministry at Grace Baptist Church. Outreach and Evangelism is by the church for the church. We provide training, e.g., how to write testimonies, use "Hope Explored", etc. We provide resources, e.g. Two Ways to Live booklets and The Essential Jesus—the Gospel of Luke written with material for non-Christians or new Christians. With training and resources, we hope that every member of Grace Baptist Church can tell all that the Lord has done. We also have Compassion Ministry platforms like our outreach to Gladiolus Place. In our ministry to Gladiolus Place, we provide home-cooked meals for the girls once every two months because they don't get them often. We meet a practical need to build relationships with the staff and girls. It is from these friendships that we hope to speak and share the gospel with them. In this outreach ministry, we partner with the church. We have a meal team who will provide the dinner, while the ministry team of dedicated GBC befrienders will focus on building friendships and seeding the gospel. We partner with Gladiolus Place both to show the love of Christ to our neighbours in practical ways and also to share the good news of Christ with our friends.
There are ways we can strengthen our partnership with Gladiolus Place. You can apply with them to be registered volunteers (check the box for "befriending"). The staff at Gladiolus Place will provide you with some training. Initially, you can spend time with the girls at Gladiolus Place in a lightly supervised manner. Once the girls and staff get to know you and you get to know them, we can bring the girls out on Sundays for Worship Service (once a month) and lunch afterwards on our own. This opportunity is a good way to build long-term friendships for the gospel. In addition, we plan to partner with Gladiolus Place to reach out to the girls' families. We hope to develop friendships to provide support for the families. We can help the girls in some ways by strengthening the families. You can also register to assist with family visitations (check the box for "Bless-the-Parents project").
So, we who have received deliverance and the promise of resurrection life are responsible for telling others all that the Lord has done. In doing so, we proclaim that the LORD, He alone is God, and bring glory to His name!
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